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Good business

Is doing good good business? I have always wanted to think so. And when I read a post a month ago by Seth Godin on Responsibility, it made me think about these issues again. So go read that post and all the great conversation it precipitated. (I’ll wait right here for you.) It’s taken me, however, a while to get my thoughts together, but I finally have.


I think that Seth is absolutely correct about what he is saying—we all need to believe in what we do. He believes that it would result in a better world because we’d produce fewer things that are harmful (I do, too), but I think there’s another reason too—we’d all just be a little more passionate about our jobs. We’d all do better work.
Maybe it’s just me, but I see too many people who spend lots of time at work but aren’t terribly happy. Now I understand that we all need to put food on the table, but I think too many of us stop when our monetary needs are satisfied, rather than other needs. If you market a product, you need to believe in it—to think it really is something that helps people.
But it goes beyond marketing and beyond products. Everyone should believe that they are doing something good on their job. If you feel that the only way to sell your product is to mislead your customer, that’s a problem. If you feel you must mistreat workers to keep costs down. Or pollute the environment.
I don’t mean to come off as a Pollyanna here. If you are the most hard-bitten business type ever and won’t be swayed by any ethical or moral arguments, or any calls to be passionate about what you do, think about this. The Internet is holding up the biggest flashlight of all time on everything companies do.
In the past, you needed to be a big company doing something egregious to be newsworthy. Now a hate site can be set up for free that reveals your sins and gets a top ten placement on Google. A blogger can disclose bad behavior on the smallest scale. And it’s no consolation that the blogger has just 100 subscribers when they are your best customers—the ones most likely to spread the word to the rest of your customers. It doesn’t matter that the group that set up the hate site are “a bunch of nuts” if they have their facts.
So, if doing good sounds too expensive for you, try calculating it against the new expense of doing it the old way. Because the old way depends on secrets and those secrets get harder to keep every day.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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